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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 28, 2010 8:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

A '68 show does blow away a '73 show in some ways. Like violent splashes of paint versus delicate brushstrokes. The band's much more energetic, and they spend most of a '68 show fishing in the raw roiling sea of psychedelia... (The guitar tone's more in-your-face, too.) It was a different band a few years later, more sedate, song-centered & listener-friendly, but undeniably appealing to more people.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Oct 28, 2010 10:40pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

In relation to the important part of the catalog Dark Star,Playin',Other One and to a lesser degree Bird Song,Here Comes Sunshine and Eyes of the World,I find there music in 73' and 74' to be far more psychedelic and every bit as energized as 68'.It might not have that bouncing off the walls 68' vibe or edgy Gibson guitar tone,or that 60's acid feel,but that doesn't make it less anything,just different.The five years lent to a gigantic improvement in all three guitarists abilities,plus they added Keith and lost Mickey.I don't think music gets much more psychedelic than the 12/6/73 Dark Star,or energetic than 6/26/73 Other One,they are just more refined than their 68' counterparts.I really like some of 60's stuff,but I always find it odd when someone says they started going downhill as early as 71',while I can understand liking the 60's incarnation of the band more,I can't see how an indisputable rise in the talent level of all the musicians involved and for the most part better crafted songs with less goofy lyrics lending itself to a downturn in the overall quality of the bands music.I have a fairly low opinion of the post 74' output,so I don't see the need to comment on their genuine decline.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 12:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

I tried not to say the quality of the music went down - I agree the band's skill improved by the early Keith years & they went to places they couldn't have before. I said "decline" mainly referring to their energy & focus on jamming, not to the music's quality.
But as they 'grew up', they left behind qualities that I like a lot - the magic changed. They became a different kind of band: something lost, something gained. (Just as I wouldn't look for a Viola Lee in '73, I wouldn't look for a Scarlet>Fire either.)
I guess I take a regretful tone when sighing over the lost glories of '67/68, but each year has its own unique appeal - that great '72 kick didn't last, the freewheeling '74 jams were given up, the '76 sweetness faded away...

Anyway, you could use the same argument - more years of added talent, more songs, more refinement, new player - to say that '79 was their best year yet!

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Poster: Reade Date: Oct 29, 2010 6:40am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

"......each year has its own unique appeal - that great '72 kick didn't last, the freewheeling '74 jams were given up, the '76 sweetness faded away..."

Well stated!
Reminds me of that line somebody used to sing, 'There's nothing you can hold for very long..."

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

I understood you were not taking a derogatory slant on the 73'stuff LIA,and you made some valid points.I think it's more that I see the 68'-74' as very similar in the bands energy and willingness to explore all possibilities as far as jamming and stretching the boundaries goes,even though the music can be quite different.My point about the talent level rising and adding Keith were not meant in the vein of time and additions always make things better.In 68' all three guitarists were relatively new to their instruments so time and playing together was a plausible positive,as for the addition of Keith they got lucky in finding a kindred spirit who was talented,inventive and fit in,so in this aspect time and an addition were helpful.I find the post 74' music creatively bankrupt as far as their ability to truly jam,the only song that remotely harkened back to those days was PITB.Sadly the Other One,Dark Star,Eyes,Bird Song all became a pathetic shell of what they once were and would have been better served by being shelved rather than shit on like they were.As far as what passed as material to be jammed on Scarlet/Fire usually failed miserably resulting in about 20-24 minutes of uninspired,effect riddled drivel with questionable vocals and forgotten or mumbled lyrics.Estimated/Eyes was generally underwhelming and pretty much the same always,Sailor/Saint deserves no comment.Scant few versions aside Help/Slip/Franklins is generally so bad as to be embarrassing.As for that forced noise making they tagged space let's not confuse that crap with genuine improvisation.On rare occasions they could give you a slight hint at what once was,but what passed for jamming or inspired in the moment improvisation in their post 74' music was sad and lacking.

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Poster: Reade Date: Oct 29, 2010 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

"As for that forced noise making they tagged space let's not confuse that crap with genuine improvisation."

Agreed. Towards the end didn't this part of the show basically consist of a non-Band member backstage with a laptop, (or what passed for a laptop in the early nineties), while the actual Band members ate dinner?!?!?! I attended a March '94 show and I believe for a significant stretch of time during what tends to get referred to as 'Space,' there wasn't anybody onstage.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 28, 2010 9:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

The style of playing, and music might be radically different, however if you evaluate these years simply on the quality of the performances, the disparity of their ratings is not nearly as different as say 1968 and 1978.

Continuing with the analogy with wine. 1968 is comparable with an extremely ripe and tannic vintage that produced huge, powerful and concentrated wines. 1973 has much more finese and is more fruit forward. Quite different in style, yet both are exceptional vintages. Which year's performances are more age worthy?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 28, 2010 9:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

Since '68 was the hook that snared me to the Dead, I'm biased, but I feel in many ways their decline started in '69. By the Keith era they were so laid-back they only intermittently accessed the power they achieved regularly in the early days. But I tend not to judge one year by another, the changes are so extreme. A '72 Dead show is a blaze of energy compared to '73, but still watered-down compared to '71...and while a '68 show comes brandishing its furious Viola Lees and Crypticals and Cabooses, it can't offer the introspective, ethereal spookiness of a '72 Dark Star. (And if I were to judge a Dead show by forceful energy alone, I'd do better to put on a Cream or Hendrix show!)

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 28, 2010 10:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH- Signature Licks

Your preaching to the choir...